News

This man wants radioactive waste dumped on his property

NO CONCERN: Oman Ama property owner Gordon Donovan studies where the proposed nuclear site would be placed.
NO CONCERN: Oman Ama property owner Gordon Donovan studies where the proposed nuclear site would be placed. Jayden Brown

FOR Oman Ama property owner Gordon Donovan, offering his land for a radioactive waste facility was a no brainer.

When Mr Donovan and his wife Laurelle first read the idea in a newspaper they knew they had to act.

The Donovan's 500ha property east of Oman Ama is one of six short-listed for the nuclear waste facility.

The property consists of mostly rugged, ironbark bush country, with the nearest home 5km away.

Mr Donovan has owned the property for 40 years, and it's been in the family for 60 years.

"Those who say it's prime agricultural land have never had to grow anything up here," he said.

"The site is near perfect because it's the top of a watershed - it'll be easy to monitor any water run-off."

The land was ravaged by bushfires six years ago and wild dog problems forced the Donovans to sell off their 350 head of sheep.

The Oman Ama local of 65 years owns also owns another property closer to Coolmunda Dam.

"We've got better country further down - we certainly wouldn't be doing this if we thought it'd damage our country," he said.

"We have no worries about the safety side of it."

Mr Donovan said he'd done his research and a trip to the nuclear waste site at Lucas Heights had been a real "eye-opener".

While there's been a bit of animosity from the community toward the Donovans, they said they believe they're doing the right thing.

"We've got to go with good science," Mr Donovan said.

"We knew to expect some opposition but I think people are coming to a gradual understanding."

If successful the Donovans will be given four times the worth of their land. They plan to keep more than 100ha and have no issues running stock close to the facility.

Even if they don't make the next short-list, the couple aren't fazed.

"You can't let these things worry you," Mr Donovan said.

"You just have to put your name in and give it your best shot."

Topics:  editors picks, nuclear waste, nuclear waste dump, nuclear waste facility, oman ama



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